The Trek Top Fuel range of mountain bikes is designed to give those riders that want the edge in competitions something to match their ambitions. Singletrack events are where these bikes come to life, with full suspension setups designed to deliver travel that feels responsive and forgiving without reducing the stiffness or power output.
Trek Top Fuel 9
The Trek Top Fuel 9 is the entry point to this range for most riders since it is relatively affordable and still manages to retain most of the features that can be found in its more expensive counterparts.
This model is based on an Alpha Silver Aluminium frame with magnesium EVO Link technology and a good selection of components onboard.
At the front is the Fox Evolution Series 32 Float RL fork with remote lockout controls and 100mm of travel. Its companion at the rear is the Fox Performance Series Float RP-2 BSD shock, which Trek has tuned in-house so that it matches the rest of the bike naturally.
Shimano SLX and Deore XT components make up the gearing, along with a custom crank that helps you to deliver power smoothly via shifts that occur with precision. The Shimano SLX M666 hydraulic disc brakes at the front and rear are hard wearing and responsive, delivering good stopping power to the Bontrager rims and XR1 Expert tyres that make up the wheelset regardless of the weather conditions.
Trek Top Fuel 9.8
While the first bike in this range relied on a more affordable alloy frame, the Trek Top Fuel 9.8 moves things on thanks to its OCLV Mountain Carbon main frame that combines with a carbon seatstay and an alloy chianstay.
The quality of the Fox fork found on the Top Fuel 9 becomes clear when you consider that it reappears on the 9.8, along with the full float rear shock. In fact, Trek has taken the decision to include a number of the same components, from the Shimano gearing and brakes to the Bontrager wheelset.
The real difference is made by the increased lightness afforded by the carbon frame. It is worth noting that Trek is the only company to have put a carbon frame mountain bike into the UCI World Championship and come away with a first place finish, which is a feat not replicated since 2010. The bike that did it was a Top Fuel model that preceded this year’s iterations.
Trek Top Fuel 9.9 SSL
For the peak of the range, the Trek top Fuel 9.9 SSL gets the full carbon treatment, with every element of its frame featuring this lightweight, strong material in some for or other. This allows for cables to be routed internally, avoiding damage and reducing visual clutter.
The Fox fork and shock have been upgraded with the application of a Kashima coat, which is essentially a substance that allows them to operate more smoothly over a longer period of use. You still get 100mm of travel, but it is delivered with a precision not found elsewhere.
Bontrager Race XXX Lite TLR Disc rims and XR0 Team tyres are controlled by Shimano XTR M985 hydraulic brakes. In fact the Shimano XTR groupset is prominently featured on the drive train as well.
This bike is the model to choose if you are looking for something that will be particularly impressive when applied in a competitive situation. Provided you have the money to invest in its cutting edge technology and indeed the skill to actually make the most of what the bike has to offer, then the Trek Top Fuel 9.9 SSL will not be a disappointment.